Physiotherapy is the practice of helping restore movement and function to those who have been affected by illness, injury or disability. Covering all ages with a wide range of health conditions, a physiotherapist’s career can be extremely rewarding as it is varied.
We spoke to a physiotherapist for insight into a day in the life of someone in the field.
How did you enter this field?
“At a time when I was contemplating of changing my career from a research scientist that my colleagues suggested to look into physiotherapy since I was a sporty person. After finding out more about physiotherapy, I enrolled into an intensive 2 years master course at Essex University.”
What has your career path been like?
“After graduation, I had no idea which area of physiotherapy I would like to specialise in. So, I took the most popular route of doing my rotation as a band 5 in different areas to seek out my calling. I finally ended up in outpatient physiotherapy and progressed onto static band 6 outpatient physiotherapy. After a few years, I decided to pursue a postgraduate course in neuro-musculoskeletal physiotherapy before becoming a member of the Musculoskeletal Association of Chartered Physiotherapist.
What type of work pattern do you currently do?
“I work 37.5 hours a week across 4 long days, averaging 9.5 hours per day. I start from 7:30 am until 5:30 pm except Tuesday, I finish half hour early and have Friday off.”
On a typical day (or week) in this position, what do you do?
“As a physiotherapist, I see a variety of patients referred by consultants and GPs for outpatient physiotherapy for initial assessment and follow-ups, along with communicating with patients’ referrers and other professionals.”
What does your average day look like?
“My average day is mostly made up of fully booked appointments with new and follow-up patients and completing discharged letters back to referrers.”
What are the hardest challenges you have to deal with day-to-day?
“Most days, I have full bookings. I often find time management a daily challenge, with needing to complete the patients’ notes on time along with completing letters to referrers and other professionals.”
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
“The most rewarding part of my job is to hear from patients that they are getting better with the treatment and advice I provided. Moreover, they now know how to self-manage with the strategies and home exercise programme I showed and taught them with confidence.”
Which one of the skills that you learnt during training do you use the most daily?
“Listening is the most used skill I learnt to use in my daily routine. To know what patients expect of me and that they understand my explanation of what had happened is essential.”
If things develop as you would like, what does the future hold for your career?
“If I am in a position to do so, I would like to donate part of my time for charitable work either in the UK or overseas for a non-governmental organisation (NGO).
How do you keep updated in new practices and developments in your field?
“By my own reflection. I identify areas that I personally need to improve in, then enrol on short courses, read peer-reviewed articles and discussions with colleagues to learn from their experiences. Moreover, the physiotherapy Frontline magazineand department of health online articles are some of the resources that keep me up-to-date.”
What career advice would you give to a new physiotherapist?
“I would like them to know that physiotherapy is a life-long learning after graduation so be prepared to acquire knowledge throughout their career, to better themselves in order to help their patients.”
Richard Kelly, Therapy Recruitment Manager at MedicsPro comments, “It’s important that all Therapists keep there CPD up to date”. If you’re looking to take advantage of courses being supported by MedicsPro, then please contact Richardto discuss the advantages of working as a locum via the agency.